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LINGUIST List 20.3734

Mon Nov 02 2009

Diss: Applied Ling: AlBulushi: 'Task-Based Computer-Mediated...'

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        1.    Ali AlBulushi, Task-Based Computer-Mediated Communication and Negotiated Interaction in an EFL Context

Message 1: Task-Based Computer-Mediated Communication and Negotiated Interaction in an EFL Context
Date: 30-Oct-2009
From: Ali AlBulushi <aha109squ.edu.om>
Subject: Task-Based Computer-Mediated Communication and Negotiated Interaction in an EFL Context
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Institution: Lancaster University
Program: Department of Linguistics and English Language
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Ali Hussain AlBulushi

Dissertation Title: Task-Based Computer-Mediated Communication and Negotiated Interaction in an EFL Context

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Dissertation Director:
Keith Johnson
Diane Wall
Jane Sunderland
Martin Bygate

Dissertation Abstract:

This study investigates task-based, synchronous computer-mediated
communication (CMC) among EFL learners of English. It specifically explores
(a) how learners negotiate for meaning when they interact in CMC in terms
of frequency of negotiations, its causes, and the phases of resolving
communication breakdown, (b) the relationship between the task type and the
amount of negotiation that transpires, and (c) the learners' perceptions
about their task-based interaction in CMC.

Twenty four non-native-non-native dyads collaboratively completed six
communicative tasks falling under three task types using the chat tool in
Moodle, a network-based course management system. Each dyad completed two
jigsaw tasks, two decision-making tasks, and two information gap tasks.

The interaction scripts reveal that learners do negotiate for meaning in
the CMC environment when communication breaks down. The learners in this
study spent over quarter of their interaction time in negotiating meaning
and resolving communication breakdown. The causes of these negotiations
varied in the chat scripts but they were mainly content and lexical
triggers. Although the negotiation that occurs in the CMC environment
mainly conforms with Varonis and Gass's (1985) NfM model, the observed
differences call for a new model of computer-mediated negotiation. This new
model is presented as a more accurate tool for charting computer-mediated
negotiation. Furthermore, as far as the relationship between the task types
is concerned, the results suggested that task type did have an effect on
how much learners negotiated for meaning. The repeated measure analysis of
variance indicates that the decision making task type is more conducive of
NfM compared to the other types. Finally the interview data revealed the
different views the learners held about the tasks and how they influenced
their interaction, language learning, and their CMC. Particularly, the
learners' CMC-related perception data provided better understanding of
their negotiation of meaning.



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